Ruth Livingstone's life changes drastically the day her father puts a young child in her arms and sends her to a small village in New Jersey under an assumed name. There Ruth pretends to be a widow and quietly secludes herself until her father is acquitted of a crime. But with the emergence of the penny press, the imagination of the reading public is stirred, and her father's trial stands center stage. Asher Tripp is the brash newspaperman who determines that this case is the event he can use to redeem himself as a journalist. Ruth finds solace tending a garden along the banks of the Toms River--a place where she can find a measure of peace in the midst of the sorrow that continues to build. It is also here that Asher Tripp finds a temporary residence, all in an attempt to discover if the lovely creature known as Widow Malloy is truly Ruth Livingstone, the woman every newspaper has been looking for. Love begins to slowly bloom...but is the affection they share strong enough to withstand the secrets that separate them?
My take on this book:
Ruth Livingstone's life is turned upside down when her father is falsely accused of murdering a prostitute. Her father gives her the deceased woman's child and sends her to a small town to stay with a family he knows. That family thinks Ruth is a former prostitute, but they allow the town to believe she is a widow, with a small child. Her only solace is tending a once abandoned garden.
Because of a mistake two years ago Asher "Jake" Tripp walked away from the "Galaxy", the newspaper he and his brother owned, the mistake he made almost caused the business to fail, but his brother Clifford had worked hard and the paper was once again thriving. Jake wants to return to the paper.Hoping to redeem himself in the eyes of his brother, he offers to take an assignment out of town, trying to track down Ruth Livingstone, who disappeared right before her fathers trial began. When he tracks Ruth to the town she is staying in, he takes residence as Jake Spenser, a handyman recovering from a broken back.
Ruth and Jack both have plenty of secrets, but once they meet, and share time together, love slowly blooms, will their secrets keep the two apart, or will love be able to work everything out?
For some reason I just didn't connect with this story, it actually took several weeks for me to read. I liked the historical aspect of the book, and while the storyline was ok, it just wasn't great. I couldn't really connect with any of the characters, I kept hoping we would get more of Ruth's back story, such as whether she left friends behind, or perhaps a boyfriend, she was in her twenties so she certainly must have had a life before she went into hiding with the child. This book was my first foray into reading anything written by Delia Parr, and while it didn't sweep me away, it wont dissuade me from reading more of her work.
I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.